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Taiwan Church News

3277 Edition

December 15 - 21, 2014

Headline News

 

 

For PCT's 150 Years Historical Service In Taiwan, Former President Lee Teng-hui Pays His Tribute And Hopes To Go Beyond

 

 

Reported by Lin Yi-yin

 

 

On UN Human Rights Day, December 10th 2014, former President Lee Teng-hui, age 92, is invited to attend PCT press conference, titled as "Fly Over 150, Seeing A New Taiwan", celebrating PCT's committed mission in Taiwan for the past 150 years and beyond. Together with many PCT pastors, Lee expresses that he is very honored and pleased to witness PCT's 150 years' historical service in Taiwan. With a blessing, Lee anticipates PCT would carry on her passionate commitment to Taiwan taking up the missionary challenge for the next 150 years.

 

 

In the press conference, Rev. Kao Chun-ming, age 86, former PCT General Secretary, draws a big "Love" character in Chinese on the map of Taiwan, symbolizing PCT's love of Taiwan through medic-care, education and active concern about Taiwan's human rights and democracy. Seeing Rev. Kao Chun-ming and former President Lee Teng-hui photographed together, hugging and supporting mutually to walk a short distance and then say farewell to each other, it seems we are both reminded and revealed at that very moment, when KMT's martial law was lifted in 1987, a new spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation was born in Taiwan!

 

 

Lee affirms PCT did play a pivotal role in the modern development of Taiwan's democracy, especially her three historical statements in 1970s: (1) Public Statement On Our National Fate (1971), calling an over haul of the members of Parliament; (2) Our Appeal - Concerning The Bible, The Church And The Nation (1975), warning about kinds of religious oppression and languages discrimination; (3) Declaration On Human Rights (1977), insisting Taiwan's future be based upon the self-determination of the people of Taiwan, and Taiwan should become a "new and independent country"!

 

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe


 

Former President Lee Teng-hui affirms the paradigmatic model established in PCT's 150 years mission for Taiwan society as identification with the land, commitment to the people and following Jesus' commandment - love thy neighbor as thyself.

 

Photo by Lin Yi-yin


 
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Taiwan Church News

3277 Edition

December 15 - 21, 2014

Obituary News

 

 

Rev. Tin Jyi-giokk, Pastor of Taiwan Society, Passed Away On December 11th 2014

 

 

Reported by Hwang Yi-lek

 

 

Rev. Tin Jyi-giokk, age 92, passed away in Sin Lau Hospital on December 11th 2014. As a PCT pastor, witnessing Taiwan's  various political powers: including Japaneses ruling, Nationalist authoritarian regime and the democratic government of Democratic Progressive Party(DPP), Rev. Tin is not only care about individual Christian but also the people of the whole Taiwan society.

 

 

For PCT, the decease of Rev. Tin is a very great loss. He had served as pastor of local congregations at Pei-kang, Po-tsu and Bu-dai in Jia-yi Presbytery; he helped draft the most historical PCT statements in 20th century Taiwan: Public Statement on Our National Fate (1971) and Declaration on Human Rights (1977); he also helped deliver PCT's Confession Of Faith(1985), the first ever Faith Manifesto from Taiwanese churches, when he served as the Director of PCT Faith and Order Committee. The life story of Rev. Tin is actually a capsule of Taiwan church history in 20th century.

 

 

In the end of 2013, Rev. Tin published a book about his thoughts on culture, titled as The Cultural Thoughts of Rev. Tin Jyi-giokk (or in Romantization as Tin Jyi-giokk Bok-su ê Bûn-hòa Su-sióng). Within this book, Rev. Tin urge the Taiwanese people bravely use own ethnic mother tongue and languages as a foundation, freely engage in theological thinking and creative writing, and build up a new and independent imagination of Taiwan from diverse dimensions: languages, literature, nation-state and religions.

 

 

Taiwan the Green(Tâi-ôan Chhùi-chhin), which lyrics is amazingly sublime and peaceful is written by Rev. Tin, is always honored by Taiwan society as The Taiwan Anthem. Rev. Tin's lyrics tell the landscape, the environment, the history, the constitution and the inhabitants of Taiwan in details, reflecting the Taiwanese voice and will to seek independence.

 

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe



 

Rev. Tin Jyi-giokk, a life-long leader and campaigner for Taiwanese ethnic mother tongue and languages.

 

Photo by Chen Yi-hsuan

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3276 Edition

December 8 - 14, 2014

Editorial

 

 

Editorial: It's Time To Release "Bian-vera"!


 

"Look! Bian-vera comes up again to save the game!", in a metaphoric usage of NY Yankee's legendary relief pitcher - Mariano Rivera, becomes a very popular and sarcastic response circulated among Taiwan youth when they comment on KMT's adept maneuvers to rescue themselves from political troubles. So, who is "Ben-vera"? He is our former Taiwan President, Mr Chen Shui-bian(A-bian), who has been jailed behind bars since 2008. Every time when President Ma Ying-jeou attributes his policy failures to the imprisoned A-bian, especially some pan-blue believers are easily persuaded to buy those stories, the young folks in social media can tell immediately in a black humor that Bian-vera has come back to save KMT's losing game!

 

 

Reflecting a series of shocking political events since 2008, including a flooding protest of Red Shirt Army, the immediate indictment and custody of a just veteran national leader, A-bian was mercilessly humiliated and painted by most media as a corrupt President from 2000 to 2008. Even though over a trillion NT dollars had been saved or costed down for Taiwan's finance budget in his terms, A-bian was still prosecuted for the crime of embezzlement when he stepped down. In 2008, except a few die-hard fans would give A-bian warm support and applaud whatsoever, Taiwan society were dominantly persuaded by KMT propaganda and the media that A-bian is corrupt for sure. But, after a severe test of time after 6 years, we cannot help but ask: Are the alleged facts of A-bian's cases really guilty as prosecuted by the legal systems and reported by the media?

 

 

Why almost all A-bian's cases, related to various charges of corruption, embezzlement, money laundry and leakage of national secret documents, are either closing files without further indictment or ends up as not guilty? The only guilty verdict toward A-bian is the case of Long-Tam Land Deal, which sentence is highly contentious under a seemingly politically-motivated judge, regardless of the witness' testimony that he was instigated by Special Investigation Division to submit untrue witness. Many phenomenon and traces tell us that the humiliated indictment and custody of A-bian is a political oppression and cleanse in essence, yet with a human face in the name of justice. Since an image of a corrupt and grafting A-bian has been made stereotyped in the mind of the Taiwanese, who can return justice back to A-bian?

 

 

From the very first day A-bian was sent into jail, PCT pastors and believers never stop paying their routine visits and pastoral comfort to our veteran President. Seeing A-bian's health becomes deteriorated day by day, the political opposition between pan-green and pan-blue polarized without ends, PCT's calling to release our former President from a human rights and justice consideration is more and more louder and urgent!

 

 

Mariano Rivera, the greatest ever NY Yankee relief pitcher, has stepped down from his pitcher plate and retired from his glorious baseball career. We cannot help but wonder: when President Ma Ying-jeou would release his political relief pitcher "Bian-vera"(A-bian), who was always played as the ace of trumps in the past 6 six years in Ma's crisis but not anymore after KMT's landslide failure of nine-in-one super-election?

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3276 Edition

December 8 - 14, 2014

Church Ministry

 

 

Dr John Ross Mackay Is Commemorated By An Inscribed Stele Inside Tamkang High School Campus

 

 

Reported by Lin i-ying

 

 

Dr John Ross Mackay, age 98, the grandson of famous Canadian missionary - Rev. Dr George Leslie Mackay, passed away at Kelowna of Canada on Oct. 28th 2014. He is an internationally renown Canadian geographer, a laureate of the Order of Canada and also an Emeritus Professor in the University of British Columbia, most noted for his scientific exploration of permafrost phenomenon in the Western Canadian Arctic.


 

In the afternoon on December 1st 2014, a commemoration service is held inside the campus of Tamkang High School. Many ecclesiastical and laity leaders of Presbyterian Church in Taiwan(PCT), Tamkang High School and Alethia University are invited to commemorate and witness an inscribed stele for Dr John Ross Mackay.


 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

 

Many ecclesiastic and laity leaders of Presbyterian Church in Taiwan(PCT), Tamkang High School and Alethia University are invited to commemorate and witness an inscribed stele for Dr John Ross Mackay.

 

Photo by Lin Yi-ying


 
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Taiwan Church News

3275 Edition

December 1 - 7, 2014

Church Ministry

 

 

Saluting The Brave Missionaries For Their Suffering For Righteousness, Human Rights And Taiwan Democracy on UN Human Rights Day

 

 

Reported By Lin Kai-fu and Wang Jen-wen

 

 

On UN Human Rights Day, December 10, 2014, many former missionaries in last century are remembered for their invaluable contributions toward the promotion of Taiwan democracy and human rights. Especially, their loyal sacrifice for God's righteousness during their brave and usually risky struggles in that dark times deserves Taiwan society's appreciation and salute for the wonderful jobs they have done.

 

 

 

Rev. David Gelzer and his wife Elisabeth Gelser

 

Rev. David Gelzer / Photo by Lin Kai-fu

 

 

Rev. David Gelser and his wife Elisabeth Gelser, sent by PC(USA), arrived Taiwan to start their missionary ministry in 1975. Initially, Rev. Gelser taught the course of systematic theology and church history in Tainan Theological College and Seminary(TTCS). Later, he joined in Taiwan Church News to handle the ecumenical church news. Except these ecclesiastic service, Rev. Gelser also took part into the burgeoning opposition movement then, bringing first-hand insider reports and personal confidential letters to the outside world. Yet, due to his involvement with opposition movements was noticed by KMT regime, Rev. Gelser and his wife was abruptly suspended their visa and forced to leave Taiwan in 1984. Now, Rev. Gelser is 95 years old with a good health and works diligently as a volunteer worker for Presbyterian Historical Society. His wife, Elisabeth Gelser, was passed away due to heart disease on September 8, 2014.

 

 

Rev. Milo Thornberry and his wife Judith Thornberry

 

Rev. Milo Thornberry

 

Rev. Milo Thornberry and his wife Judith Thornberry, a missionary couple from The Methodist Church of U.S., arrived Taiwan in 1966 and started their ministry of theological education in both Taiwan and Tainan Theological College and Seminary(TTCS). As inspired by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's thoughts of human rights and illuminated by the depth analysis of Taiwan's precarious politics from Rev. George Todd, who was a TTCS missionary teacher then, passionate Rev. Thornberry quickly learned to know that KMT government is not so interested to enhance Taiwan's liberty and freedom as described by Madame Chiang Kai-shek, but an absolutely dictatorship regime. He started to wrote letters back to U.S. Methodist church, pricking the hypocritical fancy bubbles proclaimed by Madame Chiang: Taiwan is a "Free China". As a matter of fact, contemporary Taiwan is  a society without "freedom" and never meant to march on the road toward a "Republic of China".


 

In 1969, Rev. Thornberry began to get acquainted with three major Taiwanese political dissidents: Dr. Peng Ming-min and his two students Hsieh Tsong-min and Wei Ting-chao, who in 1964 draw a manifesto advocating to overthrow the Chiang Kai-shek regime and establish a democratic Taiwan government. In 1970, Rev. Thornberry successfully made his great effort to help Dr. Peng Ming-min and Wei Ting-chao safely fled from Taiwan, yet he was also got interrogated by the Taiwan Garrison Command from the date of March 2, 1971. Not long, he was kept under a strict oversight till he and his pregnant wife was forced to leave Taiwan without any criminal charge.

 

 

When he was invited to return and deliver his speech at TTCS in 2012, Rev. Thornberry shared his thoughts and missionary stance with the faculties and students: "The mission of theology is to stand with the suffered. Theologians, who understand God suffers with human at the same moment, should prepare themselves to take up the missions of this age. Prepare our lives to stop the wheels of the injustice! ...  We should stand up! Put our fighting rod into wheel hub and stop the wild beast!"

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe


 
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Taiwan Church News

3275 Edition

December 1 - 7, 2014

Church Ministry

 

 

 

Vinyl Records Of Tayal Aboriginal Hymnal To Be Digitized As CD

 

 

 

Reported by Simon Lin

 

 

The earliest vinyl records of Tayal aboriginal hymnal are to be digitized as CD and announced to Taiwan church and society on December 15. These digitized Tayal aboriginal hymnals, reminiscent of and collected by Canadian missionaries in 1966 and 1969, are planned by PCT Tayal Presbytery to boost an evangelical enthusiasm within Tayal missionary ministry.


 

Dr. Clare Elliot McGill, a Canadian Presbyterian Missionary, translated Bible verses into oral Tayal and delivered evangelical pamphlets with Romanized alphabets in Tayal tribes, when he started his missionary ministry with his wife Grace from 1953 to 1959. As many Tayal elders and tribe people were illiterate then, Clare and Grace changed to work with Evangelist Ciku Sabiy, Pastor Watan Yawi and many Tayal tribe fellows to produce vinyl records with Bible verses and hymnals in Tayal vernacular. So, these evangelical vinyl records could be kept playing in Tayal tribes all day. Later, as Taiwan's KMT regime ordered the Mandarin and the pin-yin phonetic spelling system as the only lingua franca at public spheres, forbidding any other languages to be used in churches, the resilient McGills changed to use pin-yin system to spell out Tayal Bible verse and hymnals and re-design the cover of vinyl records for the Tayal people.

 

 

Lest this extraordinary journey of Tayal missionary by the loyal McGills be forgotten in the passage of time, Evangelist Hoi Ciku of PCT Tayal Presbytery started to collect these vinyl records of Tayal hymnal and Bible verses from 2008. Through the invaluable offerings from Rev. Tseng Kun-dah, Rev. Omi Wilang and the irreplaceable digital recording by the deceased Mr. Lin Hse-han, 5 vinyl records are finally collected and being able to transform into brand new digitized compact diskette(CD). The heavenly pure vocals and angel-like sounds of Tayal hymnals and language, sang and recited 50 years ago by Evangelist Ciku Sabiy who is the mother of Evangelist Hoi Ciku, are going to be publicized as two CD package in mid-December. Readers who are interested to purchase could contact PCT Tayal Presbytery by telephone 03 - 799 3778.

 

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

 

Evangelist Ciku Sabiy, photographed about 50 years ago with her hymnal, shows up again at her brand New CD cover design of Tayal Hymnal and Language: CD I and II.

 

Photo by Hoi Ciku

 

 
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